Puerto Rican Food: 22 Traditional dishes to Try in Puerto Rico or At Home

Puerto Rican Food: 22 Traditional dishes to Try in Puerto Rico or At Home


With a delicacies that has roots in a number of elements of the globe, Puerto Rico has a few of the greatest meals discovered in the Caribbean.

Eating your means across the island territory is a culinary journey thanks to the various eating choices on supply. Upscale eating places are readily discovered in locations like San Juan serving conventional delicacies with a twist. While the abundance of meals vans retains the genuine flavors of Puerto Rico alive. The medley of flavors and creativity units the delicacies aside and delights the tastebuds.

Traditional Puerto Rican Foods

Best Puerto Rican Foods

When you sit down to eat in Puerto Rico, you can be greeted with a heat and pleasant welcome. What we seen is that every one Puerto Ricans are keen to share their information and keenness for the native delicacies. Chances are you can be supplied a small plate of appetizers, or “antojitos,” akin to empanadillas, alcapurrias, or tostones, to whet your urge for food earlier than the primary course.

Puerto Rican delicacies is thought for its daring and flavorful dishes, usually that includes a mixture of spices, herbs, and aromatics that give the meals a particular style and aroma. Many dishes are additionally accompanied by conventional sides akin to rice and beans, candy plantains, or yucca, which counterpoint the flavors of the primary dish.

From the nationwide dish Arroz Con Gandules to delicious homegrown deserts, you’ll get up every morning wanting to attempt one thing new. On the fence about touring to Puerto Rico? Read our information to why it’s best to go to.

1. Arroz Con Gandules

Puerto Rican Recipes Arroz con Gandules

If you’re in tune with well-liked Puerto Rican meals, then you understand that Arroz Con Gandules was going to begin off our information. Well, higher late than by no means, the nationwide dish of Puerto Rico is a conventional meal that has been cooked in the territory for hundreds of years.

The one-pot Puerto Rican rice dish includes pigeon peas and Sofrito, with each family in Puerto Rico having its personal twist. Sofrito is a taste that’s discovered in loads of Puerto Rican meals. The taste is made up of coriander, garlic, onions, and inexperienced peppers.

The conventional model of Arroz Con Gandules or Puerto Rican rice is a vegetarian meal. However, sausages and pork are widespread additions. While bacon is typically cooked with the Sofrito, to create a smoky taste.

2. Empanadillas

Puerto Rican Food  Empanadillas

Similar to Mexican Empanadas, Empanadillas are savory pastries and probably the greatest dishes to attempt in Puerto Rico. Beginning with a easy pastry base, the dish is then filled with seasoned meat (you may as well use seafood or greens). You then fold it into half-moons and fry them in oil till golden brown.

Thinly chopped greens, garlic, and oregano are typically added for added taste. Once fried, Empanadillas have a tendency to have a thicker crust than the Mexican dish.

Puerto Rican eating places can typically swap out beef with seafood. Here is a good recipe if you would like to make them at residence.

3. Tostones

Puerto Rican food Tostones

Plantains are the bottom for a lot of Puerto Rican dishes. So it’s solely pure that one of the vital well-known dishes in Puerto Rico makes use of them. Similar to Mofongo, Tostones make use of unripe fried inexperienced plantains.

The onerous inexperienced plantains are sliced into items earlier than being fried on both sides. The plantains are then taken off the pan earlier than being additional flattened. They’re then deep-fried as soon as extra till golden.

Once cooked, the Tostones are topped with sea salt. They are widespread aspect dishes round Puerto Rican eating places and make for an ideal addition to your meal at residence. Dip them in garlic sauce to spherical out the normal deal with.

4. Pernil

Puerto Rican Foods Pernil

As one of the vital iconic Puerto Rican dishes, Pernil comfortably belongs on our record. Pernil is a roast pork shoulder that’s soaked in a conventional marinaded named adobo mojado.

The result’s a succulent meal and a must-try in your travels across the nation. The scrumptious marinade includes spices which can be widespread all through Caribbean delicacies. These are garlic, oregano, vinegar, paprika, and salt.

While the normal Spanish Pernil makes use of ham, the Puerto Rican model grew to become well-liked due to entry and being the cheaper choice. But locals will inform you it’s the tastier selection and has since turn into a staple at weddings and festivals. For the complete expertise, don’t skip that crunchy pork pores and skin.

5. Mofongo

Puerto Rican Food Mofongo

A preferred Puerto Rican dish that will also be discovered in Cuba ( and the Dominican Republic, is Mofongo. Derived from unripe inexperienced plantains, the tip result’s a standard vegetarian dish, though you’ll discover meat-filling choices round Puerto Rico.

Mofongo often is the Puerto Rican model, nonetheless, the dish has sturdy roots in Western Africa. The dish was then introduced to Latin America by slaves.

At first, the plantains are sliced, boiled, then fried, after which mashed right into a gentle texture from which it may well take in the extra spices or further toppings like hen, lobster, bacon, or prawn. Mofongo is normally served as a important meal, with the addition of chopped greens. But for further taste, add a heat broth to the plantains. The starchiness of the dish is ideal for soaking it up!

6. Pastelon

Puerto rican Food Pastelon

In some methods related to a conventional Italian Lasagna, Pastelon is a conventional Puerto Rican meals that can also be well-liked in Dominican delicacies. The important ingredient for Pastelon is mashed or sliced ripe plantains.

The plantains act because the layer that splits the mincemeat into separate ranges. They are used because the Puerto Rican equal of Italian noodles. Then the added meat is first blended in with tomato sauce. A sauce that adjustments barely wherever you’re in Old San Juan or Bayamon. Common additions to the meat, tomato sauce, and plantains are inexperienced beans and shredded cheese.

If you’re touring round Puerto Rico, then it’s possible you’ll discover that the title of the dish adjustments relying on the area. If you’ll be able to’t discover Pastelon on the menu, then hold a watch out for Pinon. Check out our information to the highest ten issues to do in the Caribbean.

7. Puerto Rican Pasteles

Puerto rican Foods Pasteles

Puerto Rican Pasteles are a conventional dish that’s usually loved in the course of the vacation season. These savory treats are made with a mix of grated inexperienced bananas, yucca, and plantains, mixed with a seasoned meat filling, after which wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. The ensuing dish is analogous to a tamale, however with a distinctly Puerto Rican taste and texture.

The historical past of Pasteles will be traced again to the indigenous Taino individuals of Puerto Rico, who used banana leaves as a means to cook dinner and protect meals. The recipe was later influenced by the Spanish colonizers, who introduced over new spices and components. African slaves additionally contributed to the dish’s growth, including new flavors and methods to the combination.

To make Pasteles, step one is to put together the banana leaf by cleansing and softening it. Then, the filling is made by sautéing a mix of floor meat (normally pork or hen), onions, garlic, peppers, and different seasonings. The masa (dough) is made by grating inexperienced bananas, yucca, and plantains, then mixing it with oil, milk, and different seasonings till it kinds a easy paste. The banana leaf is then crammed with a spoonful of masa and a spoonful of the meat filling, earlier than being wrapped right into a neat package deal and secured with string. The Pasteles are then boiled in salted water for about an hour till the dough is cooked by.

Pasteles are a beloved dish in Puerto Rico and are sometimes loved in the course of the Christmas season with a aspect of arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas) and a slice of pernil (roast pork).

8. Asopao de Pollo

Traditional Puerto Rican dishes Asopao de Gandules

Puerto Rican cooking combines many sorts of influences and concepts. This is actually the case with Asopao, which is a combination between a stew and a soup. The dish is all the time made with white rice, however the added components can change relying on the place you go.

Some additions to the rice dish are seafood, pork, or beef. However, the most well-liked meat selection is hen, creating the readily discovered Asopao de Pollo. Both vegetarian and meat choices will characteristic pigeon peas together with spices and olives, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Asopao is easy and filling making the scrumptious meals a standard selection for dinner in Puerto Rican households.

9. Arroz con Dulce

Puerto Rican food arroz con dulce

A preferred dessert dish in Puerto Rican delicacies, Arroz Con Dulce, is a coconut rice pudding that could be a pleasant exclamation level to your night meal. Made from cooking white rice in coconut milk together with cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, you’ll be stunned with how candy cooked rice can style.

Before being served, Arroz Con Dulce is garnished with raisins plus cinnamon sticks. Although a standard dish at eating places year-round, creamy coconut pudding is a well-liked selection in the course of the vacation season. Excited to discover the Caribbean? Read our information to the very best Caribbean Islands.

10. Bacalaitos

Puerto Rican food Bacalaitos

When you’re touring by the beautiful island territory of Puerto Rico, you’ll be spending loads of time stress-free by the Caribbean Sea. As the glowing white sands dance between your toes, you gained’t have to go far for a fast snack.

Bacalaitos are small cod fritters which can be readily discovered at seaside kiosks round Puerto Rico. The codfish (I like to use salted Pollock Chunks) is coated in a batter then deep-fried in oil, offering a crispy exterior with delightfully chewy and gentle insides.

The well-liked beachside deal with will also be discovered in different settings. Street distributors additionally serve up bacalaitos, whereas all festivals can have their very own model of the fritter.

11. Aranitas

The basic Puerto Rican meals, Aranitas, is comprised of shredded, then fried, plantains. The phrase Aranitas arises from the Spanish phrase for ‘little spiders’. Indeed, this tasty savory dish appears like a mash of tiny critters.

But what it could lack in aesthetic enchantment, Aranitas makes up for it with a crispy taste. The ease of creation additionally permits these at residence to convey a style of Puerto Rico into their kitchens.

Alongside your sizzling and crunchy Puerto Rican dish, add a dip akin to guacamole. Many eating places across the territory will place a pleasant garlic-infused sauce to complement the shredded plantains.

12. Alcapurrias

Puerto Rican Foods Alcapurrias

Sold at cuchifritos, aka conventional Puerto Rican eating places that specialize in deep-fried meals, Alcapurrias is made with plantains and yucca and is made in an analogous vogue to pasteles.

You mix shredded inexperienced banana with yautia(taro root) then season it with salt and achiote oil. This makes the “mesa” or batter. You then seize a banana leaf, or parchment paper when you don’t have one useful, place a little bit of the mesa onto it, and unfold it out a bit. Then add your seasoned beef, fold all of it collectively, after which fry it.

The finish result’s a dish related to an American corn canine, however Puerto Ricans have made a incredible enchancment.

13. Tripleta

Puerto Rican meals that make for the right lunch meal embody the delicious Tripleta sandwich. This hearty meal is a meat-lovers dream comprising a beneficiant serving of three various kinds of meat.

The trio of meats used in the aptly named Tripleta is ham, grilled steak, and Lechon pork. Lechon pork is a controversial ingredient in Puerto Rican meals. The pork is derived from the roasting of a suckling pig.

The mixture of meats is then mixed with a wide range of toppings, together with mayonnaise, ketchup, plus cheese. Vegetables are additionally added akin to diced cabbage, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. But to full the dish, fries are stuffed into the sandwich, giving the hearty meal an additional crunch.

14. Amarillos

Best Puerto rican Dishes Amarillos

Similar to Tostones (discovered under) Amarillos are as a substitute the candy model of probably the greatest Puerto Rican dishes. Such is the convenience of constructing this aspect dish that Amarillos are probably the greatest methods to recreate Puerto Rican meals at residence.

To start, discover as many ripe plantains (ones which have yellowed or are nearly black) as your coronary heart needs. The darker the plantain the sweeter the style. Once you could have peeled the plantains, slice them up into skinny items earlier than frying them shortly and solely as soon as.

Although Amarillos are candy, widespread additions embody sprinkled sugar (white or brown) or salt to create a enjoyable stability of flavors. If you’re consuming out in Puerto Rico, then Amarillos are a standard aspect dish to your important meal.

15. Pionono

Fried plantains have culinary flexibility matched by few different components all over the world. This is on full show in our subsequent Puerto Rican meals. Pionono is fabricated from ripe fried plantains which can be reworked into small cups.

From there, picadillo (floor beef) is added together with some thinly chopped onions, chilis, and coriander. Once the fillings are in place, egg wash coats the Pionono earlier than shredded cheese is sprinkled excessive.

The dish is then positioned in the oven for a short time earlier than popping out as one thing akin to a fluffy bakery dish. Some would possibly say it’s Puerto Rico’s reply to the meat pie. Check out this Pionono recipe if you would like o make it at residence.

16. Rellenos de Papa

Traditional Puerto rican Foods Rellenos de Papa

Whether you’re consuming out in Puerto Rico at a restaurant, or wandering by meals vans or cuchifritos, you’ll possible stumble throughout Rellenos de Papa. One of the most well-liked Puerto Rican dishes, the potato-based deal with, is a standard mid-afternoon snack.

Rellenos de Papa includes mashed potato balls which can be crammed with floor beef earlier than being deep-fried. The meat filling is known as Picadillo and is analogous to the filling used in Pastelon. The beef is pan-fried alongside adobo seasoning, Sofrito, olives, garlic, and tomato sauce. The finish result’s a crispy ball that is sort of a savory croquette.

17. Bistec Encebollado

Common all through Latin America, Bistec Encebollado can also be readily discovered round Puerto Rico. The rice and meat dish is bursting with taste and is a must-try as a night meal.

The important a part of Bistec Encebollado is the meat, which is first marinated in adobo seasoning. The marinating course of isn’t a brief one both. Tradition recipes name for the meat to sit in the seasoning for up to 12 hours!

So begin making ready in the morning and at evening you’ll have a delicious meat dish to get pleasure from. Complementing the meat are giant onion rings with a topping of onion sauce. Round out the hearty meal with a aspect of white rice, pigeon peas, and a few Tostones.

18. Pollo Guisado

Popular Puerto Rican Foods Pollo Guisado

Puerto Rican Pollo Guisado is a scrumptious and comforting hen stew that could be a staple of Puerto Rican delicacies. The dish has its roots in the Spanish colonial interval of Puerto Rico, the place it was closely influenced by Spanish cooking methods and components. Over time, the dish has developed to embody a mixture of indigenous Taino and African flavors and spices.

To make Pollo Guisado, hen items are marinated in a mix of sofrito (a mix of onions, peppers, garlic, and different herbs), tomato sauce, adobo seasoning, and different spices. The marinated hen is then seared in a pan to develop a deep, wealthy taste. The sofrito and remaining marinade are then added to the pan together with diced potatoes, carrots, and olives. The hen and greens are simmered collectively in the sofrito sauce till the hen is tender and the greens are cooked by.

The ensuing dish is a flavorful and hearty hen stew that’s excellent for warming up on a chilly day. The mixture of sofrito, tomato sauce, and spices provides the dish a wealthy and sophisticated taste, whereas the potatoes and carrots add a pleasant textural distinction. The olives add a tangy and barely salty taste that enhances the dish completely.

19. Sorullitos

Best Puerto rican Snack Foods Sorullitos

Puerto Rican Sorullitos are a preferred snack or aspect dish in Puerto Rico, made with cornmeal and cheese. The dish has its roots in the indigenous Taino tradition of Puerto Rico, which used corn as a staple meals. Over time, the dish has developed to embody different components akin to cheese and spices, making it a uniquely Puerto Rican creation.

To make Sorullitos, cornmeal is blended with water, milk, and a wide range of seasonings, together with salt, pepper, and typically sugar. Cheese, usually a white cheese akin to queso blanco, is then added to the combination. The ensuing dough is formed into small logs or cylinders and deep-fried till golden brown.

The ensuing Sorullitos are crispy on the surface and gentle and tacky on the within, making them a preferred snack or aspect dish. They are sometimes served with a dipping sauce akin to mayo-ketchup (a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise) or a spicy garlic sauce.

Sorullitos are liked in Puerto Rico for his or her crispy texture, tacky taste, and flexibility. They will be eaten as a snack, a aspect dish, or at the same time as breakfast meals. Their reputation is a testomony to the wealthy culinary traditions of Puerto Rico and the creativity of its individuals in incorporating new components and flavors into conventional dishes.

20. Tembleque (Coconut Milk Pudding)

Puerto Rican Tembleque is a conventional dessert that’s loved in the course of the Christmas season. The title “Tembleque” means “wobbly” or “trembling,” which refers to the dessert’s delicate and jiggly texture. The dish has its roots in Puerto Rico’s indigenous Taino tradition, which used coconut milk as a staple ingredient in many dishes.

To make Tembleque, coconut milk is mixed with cornstarch, sugar, and spices akin to cinnamon and vanilla. The combination is heated on the range till it thickens and begins to boil. The combination is then poured right into a mould, usually a small ramekin or dish, and allowed to cool and set in the fridge.

The ensuing Tembleque is a creamy, silky, and barely candy dessert that’s excellent for satisfying a candy tooth. The delicate texture and coconut taste make it a singular and refreshing dessert choice. It is commonly served with a sprinkle of cinnamon on prime.

Tembleque is a beloved dessert in Puerto Rico, significantly in the course of the Christmas season when it’s usually served alongside different conventional vacation meals akin to Pasteles and Arroz con Gandules. Its reputation is a testomony to the wealthy culinary traditions and cultural heritage of Puerto Rico, in addition to using native components akin to coconut milk in conventional dishes.

21. Asado de Cerdo

Puerto Rican Asado de Cerdo, often known as Puerto Rican Pork Roast, is a basic dish that’s liked all through the island. Its origins will be traced again to Spain, the place it was a preferred dish made with roasted pork and a wide range of spices.

To make Asado de Cerdo, a pork shoulder or butt is marinated in a mix of garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and different spices. The marinated pork is then roasted in the oven till it’s tender and juicy. While the pork is cooking, the marinade is decreased and served as a sauce.

The result’s a succulent and flavorful pork roast that’s excellent for sharing with household and mates. The mix of spices and garlic provides the pork a wealthy and sophisticated taste that’s distinctive to Puerto Rican delicacies. The dish is commonly served with a aspect of Arroz con Gandules, a conventional Puerto Rican rice dish made with pigeon peas.

Asado de Cerdo is a beloved dish in Puerto Rico and is commonly served at particular events and household gatherings. Its reputation is a testomony to the wealthy culinary traditions and cultural heritage of Puerto Rico, in addition to using native components akin to pork and spices.

22. Arroz con Pollo

Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo is a basic dish that’s liked all through the island and is commonly thought of Puerto Rico’s nationwide dish. Its origins will be traced again to the Spanish dish, Arroz con Pollo, which was introduced over throughout colonial occasions and tailored to the native components and cooking methods.

To make Arroz con Pollo, hen items are marinated in a mix of garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and different spices. The hen is then browned in a big pot, together with onions, peppers, and different aromatics. Rice, water, and hen broth are added to the pot, together with further spices akin to saffron or annatto, and the combination is simmered till the rice is tender and the hen is cooked by.

The result’s a flavorful and comforting one-pot meal that’s excellent for feeding a crowd. The mixture of spices, greens, and tender hen provides the dish a depth of taste that’s distinctive to Puerto Rican delicacies. It is commonly served with a aspect of candy plantains and a easy salad.

Traditional Puerto Rican Cuisine

Celebrating Puerto Rican Cuisine
Best Puerto Rican Food

Eating round Puerto Rico is a deal with and gives vacationers with the very best culinary expertise in the area. A correct urge for food will likely be wanted to tick off the complete breadth of choices on the record. Thankfully, many native dishes are simple to make at residence.

But it isn’t simply the normal delicacies that places a smile on the faces of people who go to. The restaurant scene in Puerto Rico is modern, discovering new methods to thrill whereas sustaining authenticity.

From the essential fritters and plantain-based dishes to Asopao and the candy Arroz Con Dulce, the meals right here guarantees to be as memorable because the seashores.

Ready to discover extra Caribbean Cuisine? Read our information to Cuban meals.

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